A wide range of topics will be covered during this year’s National Optical Conference (NOC), making it an “unmissable” event, managing director of the Local Optical Committee Support Unit (LOCSU), Katrina Venerus, tells OT in the video below.
Highlights during the two-day conference, which will be held at the Birmingham NEC Hilton Metropole on 10–11 November, include an update from LOCSU’s recently appointed assistant director of commissioning, Richard Whittington, on the progress that is being made on the Unit’s Breakthrough Strategy.
“Richard will talk about the approach that the whole commissioning team has taken so far to get the strategy in front of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and how things are going in terms of minor eye conditions services (MECS),” Ms Venerus explained.
Delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from representatives from Capita and NHS England, who will provide an update on their plans to stabilise and improve the current service.
“There has been widespread difficulties for contracts around issues and a poor level of service that has been provided by Primary Care Support England in the last five to six months,” Ms Venerus said. “There are now plans to improve and stabilise the service and I think delegates will be keen to hear first-hand how those plans are going,” she added.
Director of research at the College of Optometrists, Michael Bowden, will also take to the stage to discuss the future implications on optical practice, while GOC chief executive, Samantha Peters, will share information on the regulator’s education review.
“Both of these things will have a critical impact on the professions – be it the individual optometrist or how practices work – and are therefore very relevant for the NOC’s audience,” Ms Venerus reflected.
Encouraging practitioners to attend, Ms Venerus concluded: “The wide range of topics that we are able to cover…from commissioning, which is crucial to what we do, to the future of education, the stabilisation of the Primary Care Support England and the first ministerial address at the NOC for a long time, when you put all of this together, with the networking and the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others too, it is unmissable.”
While every LOC receives one free place at the NOC, which is funded by LOCSU, the Unit encourages LOCs to bring a cohort of delegates to the event so they are able to “take back various perspectives, attend various workshops and can put it all back into the mix at a local level,” Ms Venerus told OT.
For more information, visit LOCSU's website.